Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Interlagos, 2022

Gasly seeking “solution” from FIA over “very unpleasant” threat of race ban

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Pierre Gasly says he is lobbying the FIA for a “solution” to avoid a potential race ban if he earns two more superlicence penalty points.

The AlphaTauri driver currently has 10 penalty points on his superlicence after he was handed his fifth point in three rounds at the previous race in Mexico for passing Lance Stroll outside of track limits. He is now just two points away from an automatic one-race ban and will have to avoid earning two points before next year’s Monaco Grand Prix to escape a suspension.

He admitted that it was “a bit embarrassing” to be so close to being the first F1 driver to be banned from a race under the penalty points system since it was introduced in 2014.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s a very unpleasant situation and and quite delicate,” said Gasly.

“In some ways, also a bit embarrassing to be standing in a position where I could be banned for a race after the season that I’ve done. I don’t really feel like I’ve been particularly dangerous over these last 12 months and that would be definitely a harsh penalty.”

Gasly said he has been lobbying the FIA to try and avoid a potential ban if he receives more penalty points on his superlicence when he moves to Alpine for the 2023 season.

“There have been a lot of discussions with the FIA trying to find a solution, because personally I want to do all the races, I want to finish the season in the best way I can with AlphaTauri,” Gasly explained.

“I want to do all the races in 2023 and get the maximum chances to perform for Alpine. Obviously there is a lot at stake because no one knows what’s going to happen in 2023 – I could end up with an amazing car, fighting for the championship for example. I can’t take the risk to be banned for a race and lose all my hopes for the championship. So it’s a very tricky situation.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

The current system of handing penalty points for incidents such as exceeding track limits or falling more than ten places behind a rival under Safety Car is “harsh”, Gasly says.

“I’ve been discussing quite a lot with the FIA to try to find solutions because the way the regulation is written at the moment, it’s quite strict on the drivers and quite harsh penalties – even though it’s not always related to dangerous driving,” he said.

“Definitely the penalty has massive repercussion on the team and drivers’ championship. So I do hope we’re going to have again more conversations today but I do hope we can find a solution out of the weekend to avoid to end up in a silly situation where I’ll be banned for a race and that will be terrible for myself and definitely not the way that I’ve seen the sport growing up.

“I don’t think that’s a correct approach, because obviously I can’t really go into next year with only two points and that risk over my head. But at the same time at the moment, there is no clear solution. So hopefully there can be like a good plan going forward for 2023.”

Gasly’s penalty points

RaceInfringementPenalty points
Spanish Grand PrixCaused a collision with Lance Stroll2
Austrian Grand PrixCaused a collision with Sebastian Vettel2
Austrian Grand PrixRepeatedly exceeding track limits1
Japanese Grand PrixSpeeding under red flag2
United States Grand PrixFell more than 10 seconds behind the Safety Car2
Mexican Grand PrixForced Lance Stroll off the track while overtaking1

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

25 comments on “Gasly seeking “solution” from FIA over “very unpleasant” threat of race ban”

  1. This may be a wild idea but: what if the rules apply equally to everyone ?

  2. Here’s an idea: just get a race ban this season and be clear next year.

    1. Probably his best option but how to do it and no one would notice.
      Maybe crash into Verstappen??

  3. Has he looked into obeying the rules and not collecting penalty points? Seems to work for many other professional drivers on the grid. Bit of a left field suggestion I know.

    1. Subtract the track limits penalty (-1) subtract the fall more than 10 car lengths behind penalty (-2) (neither offence is really safety)
      Increase the Mexico penalty to 2 points (safety)

      That would make him 4 point short of collecting a race ban penalty instead, although on his current form that would just mean he would miss the first race of 2023.

      Even Verstappen can change driving style to avoid collisions, with a bit of effort surely Gasly can do the same?

      1. The whole point of the safety car is to bunch up the cars. Gasly broke the rules on how close the pack is, so that’s definitely a safety issue. It’s not his only safety car/red flag related penalty either.

    2. What a preposterous idea @hairs! Don’t we all love to see drivers just barging off others, driving half a mile off track and only suffer a whining opponent for it though.

      Surely we can’t expect the top crop of drivers in the world to be able to adhere to something as mundane as a few lines on the tarmac, they need to be explicitly briefed what inches of those lines they can ignore and which they can’t and warned at least 3 times before even having to consider heeding them even then.

  4. He’s probably not the right person to be arguing the system is wrong (as the one to benefit from any relaxing) but I think he has a point.

    Penalty points for exceeding white lines etc is very harsh when it’s almost the same penalty as speeding under yellow flags.

    1. That’s not what it was for. It was for cheating. He ran off the track to gain a position and didn’t give the position back and the teams have agreed to have voluntarily give back positions taken like this. If they don’t and are judged to have cheated, they are penalized.

      If I am somehow wrong and it is just for repeatedly running off the track, it is still merited, because it is gaining time by not following the rules.

      1. @Nick T. He was already ahead, so he merely maintained position, although even this isn’t necessarily true, given Stroll also left the track, of course, because Gasly forced him to do so.

  5. My observation is the threat of getting punished motivates people to keep the rules. I’m not sure why, but it often seems to work. I believe the world is mostly a happier place because people obey the rules. I recall a lawyer telling me that doing such and such equated to lack of foresight while driving. Not that I’m suggesting Pierre needs to show foresight or obey the rules or that fans are mostly happier because the rules are being followed. However I will be very disappointed if the FIA bends.

  6. I thought penalty points were to punish dangerous driving, no for track limits like everybody and his dog exceeds. Or safety car “over-distance” (not like, say, tail-gating the SC). Let the punishment for the crime: “time” added, or pit stop “hold”

    1. Gasly wasn’t penalized for violating track limits. He was penalized for violating track limits numerous times in the same race, despite being warned – as is customary. This calls into question what Gasly is doing. The stewards are allowed to straight up disqualify drivers who don’t seem to be in control of their car, so a minor penalty point is hardly something Gasly should be complaining about.

  7. He needs to stop whinging and learn to drive properly, otherwise he is not of the right calibre to be in F1.
    Most of the other drivers manage to stay within the rules for most of the time, if he cannot do that, he should leave.

  8. Already planning ahead for fighting with Ocon I see.

  9. He deserved a race ban for the speed he went during the Japanese red flag alone.

    1. Indeed, and more. He even admitted that only when speaking to the stewards after the race did “he now understood that there could have been marshals or obstacles on the track”. That’s a given when there are double yellow flags out, never mind red flags. That’s something drivers are supposed learn when they’re not even in single seaters yet.

  10. FIA don’t take them seriously if they let this one slip through their hands.

  11. Based on Gaslys penalties, Aston Martin might not feel so shocked that he’s on the edge of a race ban.

    1. The rules should apply to everyone, but the track limits farce should not be dignified with penalty points for anyone.

  12. He won’t fight for the championship next season & while he makes some good points, the penalty points he’s received are still ultimately justified.

  13. Fia has given you the “solution” be quiet Gasly.

  14. “I want to do all the races in 2023 and get the maximum chances to perform for Alpine. Obviously there is a lot at stake because no one knows what’s going to happen in 2023 – I could end up with an amazing car, fighting for the championship for example. I can’t take the risk to be banned for a race and lose all my hopes for the championship. So it’s a very tricky situation.”



Comments are closed.